CRPS and blisters

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Hello all, I'm clearly one of many that have been diagnosed with the debilitating pain that CRPS brings. I was only diagnosed in June 2015 but experienced the hurrendous burning pain since the beginning of February 2015. Without boring you with the full description of how it all came about but it started when my hand was placed into a cast, following an injury at work. I was referred to the pain management clinic in June who when diagnosed me. I was put onto Gabapentin and Amitriptyline, which I seem to think is a standard start. The pain for me has been immense and the best way to describe it is, if someone set fire to your hand, let the skin burn away, then rub salt into the wound and then rub sand paper over it after, that's the kind of feeling I have. As with many people, sleep deprivation has become the bane of my life (but that's a different story) However, around July this year a small blister appeared around the area in which I had surgery, this was prior to my second stellate ganglion block. I pointed this out to my pain management doctor on the day of the second block and she was quite dismissive of it being linked to CRPS. My next appointment with the pain management team is in the next "3-4 months". Since having two of these blocks, none of which lasted more than 48 hours, I've developed more painfull, bleeding blisters on my hand. I've been to my GP who doesn't seem to have a clue about CRPS, who gave me tramadol and zopiclone to help with pain and sleep issues. He didn't seem to be bothered about the blistering. So as not to waffle on too much, I was wondering if anyone else has experienced painful bleeding blisters as part of their CRPS experience? After the 1-2 hours sleep I get at night, I always wake up with blood pouring from these blisters, the slightest touch and it pours with blood and the pain is unbearable. I'd love to hear from anyone who has advice or who has this problem too? So sorry about the long post but I'm in absolute desperation for answers/reassurance right now sad

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  • Posted

    Hi Andy...

    I've not had the blisters but to me that is something that is not ok just to be dismissed by your Gp.....I would contact your pain team again and ask to see someone it sounds to me that you need a referral to tissue viability or dermatologist .......when you take your pain medication do you take just the garbepentin ? Or do you take paracetamol as well.....it's just in my none crps life .....I would give the information to people that unless there's an underlying cause for them not to ....always take paracetamol as a foundation block of pain relief then build on this with other medications....I hope you get some sleep and furthert treatment soon it's a horrible diagnosis......x

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  • Posted

    I don't have crps but I asked a question once so follow the discussions now. I just wanted to say I am so so sorry for your pain. I just did a little searching around and a website does list skin changes as symptom. I've pasted below the information I could find.

    I would definitely go back to your GP or your pain team or a dermatologist. There must be someone who can help. I have read in the past that treatment with vitamin c early on in the process has helped and alpha lipoid acid is also touted as a nerve regeneration supplement. Ala is supposed to help nerve pain also but most studies have been for diabetic neuropathy. I know they are supplements and probably won't help massively or quickly but it's worth reading about and perhaps A try as I can imagine you are at your wits end. I am honestly so sorry for you and everyone with crps, it sounds like an awful awful disease. I hope u get some relief or at least a Dr who tries to help.

    Skin Symptoms of CRPS

    Other symptoms of CRPS may be present in the patient’s skin. Patients most notably experience temperature or color changes. These changes are typically caused by issues with proper blood flow in the affected limb.

    The skin of the affected area may change colors. It may appear reddish, bluish, or purplish. Paleness or blotchiness may also occur. Additionally, the temperature of the skin in the affected area may change. The affected area may become hotter or colder than non-affected areas, such as the opposite limb. The temperature of the affected CRPS area may continue to fluctuate.

    Rashes and Eczema

    Symptoms of CRPS include the development of skin conditions such as rashes and eczema. Eczema is a category of dermatitis conditions. Eczema is characterized by redness, swelling, and inflammation of the skin. Some patients experience itching. If the skin blisters, bleeding or oozing may occur. The skin may also become dry, scaly, crusty, or shiny.

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  • Posted

    Hi, I just had another quick look around on the web and some people say dmso is helpful, I don't know a lot about it other than you have to be careful with it as I think it acts as a transporter so anything you put on your skin after using dmso will be absorbed and it supposedly smells like garlic or makes you smell like garlic but you should look it up and read about it. I doubt you can put it on broken skin but if there is a point the blisters heal then maybe try it. Check with Dr first.

    Maybe some people on this forum have tried it and can give you an honest review. There are some reviews on it for other things on web m d.

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  • Posted

    Jpegs, Charlotte,

    Thank you both so much for your replies, it amazes me that people know more and suggest more than the actual people who are supposed to be there to help. I can't do any form of physio at the moment due to the placement of the blisters, most are on the joints so bending fingers is difficult as the blisters crack and bleed.

    I have been referred back to my pain management team, nearly 4 weeks ago, but I've not heard anything yet and I have chased it up plenty. My GP centre is like a conveyor belt for patients and to be honest I've seen two different GP's, several times and neither seems to have an understanding of the scale of the pain.

    I've never tried paracetamol with my Gabapentin? I'm just wary that I'm taking four different types of medication and adding another just makes me feel anxious.....but to be fair, I'll try anything to make this pain go away.

    Thank you both again for your replies.

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  • Posted

    Hiya Andy, I also have CRPS or craps as i like to call it. About 2 months ago a small blister bubble came up on my finger I thought nothing of it until it got bigger and eventually popped and went to a huge gooey mess since the 5 have appeared on my fingers. Has been dismissed by my gp who in my case is as much use as a chocolate fire guard !!! My specialist pain nurse has said its just another crps mystery as the nerves inside are just hay wire, i have has huge brusies ect also.... 

    I have just had a spinal cord stimulator fitted to help with my pain. 

    How are your blisters now, and are they just on crps parts of your body ? X

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    • Posted

      Hi Lorna, it sounds as if you're going through the same frustrations as me, when it comes to GP's and the pain management doctor. It just feels like there's no real understanding of the condition....in all honesty I've learned more from the tinternet than from the 'specialists'. I started off with the bruises and these weren't just on the affected part. They then developed into the blisters I now have. Luckily they are only confined to the thumb area for now. May I ask, is it your hand(s) that are affected? As I'm wondering what the spinal cord stimulator does for the hand?
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    • Posted

      My crps started in left knee. Now has spread down both legs into my feet and right hand up to right shoulder. My scs is for my arm and leg had it in 13 weeks now. 60% less pain but as they say its not a cure only preventative measure... My pain consultant now e mails my gp telling her to change my meds ect.. As gp is still a non believer..... 

      The scs is like an internal tens machine with pulses to my hand and knee its weird but getting used to the sensations...

      my blisters where on crps affected fingers and 2 on opposite hand also which i have started to loose grip ect with x 

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    • Posted

      It sounds like you have a fantastic pain consultant and clearly one that knows what they're doing, unfortunately like most GP's, they do not understand it or try to pass it off as something else. I went to my GP a week ago, after a really bad bleed overnight, and left the dried blood all over my hand and where it had dried down my arm....her answer "keep taking the prescribed medication" and take 7 weeks off (yes, 7 weeks is a very random number). Your scs sounds like a great bit of treatment and I really hope it's improving your quality of life. Like you say, Its not a cure, but it's helping. It feels like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders by just talking about it all. Thank you x
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    • Posted

      Hi andy 47986 , I'm Michelle. I also have crps and I was recommended to get a spinal cord stimulator , I was just woundering how this is working out for you .?
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  • Posted

    I don't want to worry you, but u drag and ulcers can be very bad with crps. Check out the lady on burning nights web page, she's had the most horrendous ulcers. Get it seen to quickly. Also check royal college of physicians guidelines for crps, this gives different guidance for GPS, physio, pain management, dermatology Tec. It's interesting what they are supposed to follow.
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    • Posted

      Hi Maddy, do you have the link for the lady on burning nights? I can't seem to find it, I'd be very interested in reading this. The frustrating thing is, I had these blisters on the day of my second nerve block and the pain consultant was extremely dismissive of it. My GP's have been exactly the same, so I'm not entirely sure who else I can go to in relation to the blisters. Thank you so much for the suggestion of the royal college of physicians....I'm going to look for that now. Thank you so much for taking the time out to give your advice, it is greatly appreciated.
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  • Posted

    Andy, one of my messages had a link for royal college of physicians, but it's been blocked for now. As far as the other site is concerned just search burning nights and the lady's blog should come up, she's had dreadful ulcers, pictures quite upsetting though. I understand she's a rare case, but not something you can leave if it is a problem. Appendix 9 when you get on rcp site is quite informative. If you feel it's appropriate go back to go and insist on a referral to a dermatologist. I've been diagnosed since October/November last year, I found such a wide variety of knowledge and help or not as the case my be. I'm not impressed
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    • Posted

      Sorry, I found it after replying to you. That poor lady, that is such an awful condition to be in sad I'll await the links to be unblocked, I'm sure it won't take long. Funnily enough, whilst typing my last message to you, one of my blisters cracked and started to bleed, in for a great night tonight! I'm looking at the RCP site now, I'm definitely going to insist on a referral to a dermatologist. I know the Internet can be quite misleading with some things, but I've found that those suffering with CRPS, are extremely knowledgable and it's helped me understand more, I just couldn't seem to find anything linking it to blisters.
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